Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

I created my very own triptych art and it cost me less than $30.

Diy Triptych Art

I’ve been wrecking my brain over what type of art to hang over my bed. You would think that with all the online options it would be a breeze. I’m quickly learning that I’m hard to please. If it wasn’t the right colors or the right size then the price was just out of control. As usual, I took things into my own hands.

I was inspired  by the images below.

Brushstroke Swirls Wall Art

via West Elm

Bold Abstract Wallpaper

via pinterest

As well as this popular Oliver Gal Print.

Oliver Gal Impero via One Kings Lane

Oliver Gal Impero via One Kings Lane

I was especially drawn to the gold accents over the blue paint.

I used poster boards from Dollar Tree to practice on. I’ve never really painted before and I wasn’t even sure if I could paint halfway decent circles. I mixed indigo paint with black to get the perfect shade of blue.

Diy Art Triptych -1

To create this Triptych art you will need the following supplies.

Supply List

(5)  Pine 1 x 2 @ 8′

(1)  2′ x 4′ piece of 1/4″ thick MDF or Plywood

(2)  22″ x 30″ Sheets of 140lb Watercolor Paper (you can find this at Michaels or Dick Blick)

1-1/4″ Kreg Screws

1″ Spax Screws

Scotch Blue Painters Tape for Delicate Surfaces

Spray Paint, Latex Paint or Stain

Acrylic Craft Paints

Wood Glue

Wood Filler

This supply list will make three 15″ x 22″ frames and art boards.

I painted with my paper hanging on the wall over a large piece of craft paper. It was more comfortable to paint this way rather than on a table.

Diy Art Triptych -2This allowed me to run my circles off the paper and keep a natural look to the painting. I added gold flecks by dipping an old toothbrush in gold paint and flicking it onto the paper. I dipped a wet/tiny brush into the gold paint to create the drips.

I painted two of these and let them hang outside to dry. Once the drips dried, I rotated the paper and added a few other drips in the opposite direction. When everything was dry, I cut the paper in half and created two 22″  x 15″ paintings.

Diy Art Triptych -3

To make the frames I modified and used Ana Whites Barnwood Frames Plan.

I cut the 1 x 2’s using a stop block to keep all the pieces exact. I used Poplar instead of Pine because it’s harder and will resist dents and dings. I also cut the plywood to size to later mount the art.

Diy Art Triptych -4


I drilled 3/4″ pocket holes in the shortest 10-1/2″ boards.  I could have used brad nails and glue but I didn’t think about it until it was too late. The 10-1/2″ boards were screwed into the 20-1/2″ boards. To keep from getting confused, I only grabbed four boards at a time.

Diy Art Triptych -5

Once all of the inner frames were assembled, I moved on to attaching the outer frame. The pieces remaining were the 22″ boards and the 13-1/2″ boards.

Diy Art Triptych -6

I planned on hanging these with picture hooks so these need to be assembled with a slight lip on the back if I wanted them to sit flush against the wall.

I used 1/8″ thick strips of plywood to elevate the inner frame. Then I glued and nailed the outer frames to the inner frames.

Diy Art Triptych -32

I had a little hiccup with one of my measurements and all of my 22″ boards were 1/16″ longer than they should be. I just ran the frame through my table saw to remove that little bit.

Diy Art Triptych -7

If you plan on using hangers like the ones below, now is a good time to add them. You have to bang pretty hard to get them in and it can ruin the paint if you add them after you paint.

Diy Art Triptych -13

Once I filled and sanded all the nail holes then sprayed them with oil based primer.

Diy Art Triptych -8

I wanted my art to stand out, not the frame. So I painted the frames the same color as the wall in my bedroom. If I was painting it any other color, I would have used spray paint.

Diy Art Triptych -10

While the paint was drying, I grabbed my plywood and placed it on top of the paper. I picked the best parts of the painting that I wanted to highlight and folded the rest over the back of the plywood.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

 I creased the paper on all four sides. Then very carefully I trimmed the paper and created a tiny corner.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

I folded the edge over like you wrap a present.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

Then I taped everything in place with painters tape.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

See how nice the edges look? This is why I chose to mount these as an art board vs. framing them behind glass.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

The next step is to pre-drill the holes for the screws that will hold the art board in place. I created a stop for my countersinking bit by drilling a hold through a small piece of 1/8″ thick plywood.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

I drilled 4 holes in the back of each frame.  The stop kept me from drilling too deep.

Diy Art Triptych -16

Slowly I screwed the 1″ Spax screw into the back of the frame stopping just before it broke though the front of the frame.

I centered the art board on top of the frame covering up the holes I drilled.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

Then carefully I flipped the frame over onto two scrap pieces of wood that were the same length as the art board. I backed the screws out of the frame then applied pressure to the frame and slowly screwed the screws back in. I did this slowly because too much torque will force the self tapping screws right through the wood and through the art board.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

Now flip the frame over and make sure the screws didn’t go all the way through.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames


I love how the light hits the gold flecks and they seem to pop right off the paper.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

I think for an inexperienced painter, they look kinda good.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

Three of these placed over a king or queen bed fit perfectly.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

If you only make two then you have a nice Diptych for placing over a buffet or in an office.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

I’d planned on hanging these portrait-landscape-portrait to make my ceilings look taller.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

But later I decided to place them in landscape first to see if I liked them that way.

Diy Triptych Art w/ Custom Frames

I spaced the frames 3″ apart and temporarily attached them with Command Picture Hanging Strips. These frames are very versatile. You can add glass, mirrors or even canvas if you choose.


If you had to buy all the supplies it would cost you roughly $50 for three of these. Not bad considering you would pay close to $25 per piece for similar art at Home Goods or Target. I was able to pull this off for $27. I only needed to buy three 1 x 2’s and the two pieces of watercolor paper. Plus, the art isn’t permanent. I used removable tape so I can swap the art out in these frames whenever I choose to do so.

*** Psst! Guess what got delivered last weekend. Yup I got my light fixture for the bedroom and it’s been installed. I plan on photographing the room this week so if all goes well I’ll have a reveal for you on Monday. 

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  1. Sandra E says

    I love this! we had the same problem — giant king sized bed with a very long space screaming for art. I found a gustav klimt poster (sea serpent) which is this beautiful nude. I cut it (yikes) into three pieces and bought the frames used to display record albums. To make it special, i purchased custom mats and viola! i got my gorgeous triptych!


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